LIKE A BRIDEGROOM COMING OUT OF HIS CHAMBER… Where does one begin when sharing the breathtaking physical majesty and utter brilliance of the handiwork of God Almighty! It’s absolutely incredible how our physical world and our spiritual world resonate together, enthusiastically praising Him as ALL GOD!
“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun. It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other...” Psalm 19:1-6.
But mere observation and recognition of God’s appointments does not deliver the spiritual understanding for which they were created. To understand the imagery of "the Bridegroom coming out of His chamber", we must be able to view the heavens in the Spirit, not with the wisdom of the world. “This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit… But we have the mind of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 2:13-14,16
Yes, it is not foolishness to see the Bridegroom, Jesus the Christ, in the refracted rays of sunlight at the appointed time, spiritually stepping forth from His chamber in the heavens. He begins making His way to the Bride, whom the apostle Paul likens to the Church at Cornith. "I feel a divine jealousy for you, for I betrothed you to Christ to present you as a pure bride to her one husband." 2 Corinthians 11:2.
Indeed, observing the heavens is the way God ordained spiritual and physical signs to be established, and days and years to be reckoned with. God said in Genesis 1:14: "Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years."
On March 14, 2018, (March 16 in Jerusalem) day and night hours are exactly equal, indicating the physical circuit of the sun in the heavens is complete as appointed by the Almighty. It is only after this point that the daylight hours will begin to outweigh the dark hours, and the sun can truly be said to have begun another renewed cycle. It is known today as the Vernal Equilux, which occurs a few days before the Equinox.
(For millennia, the point of the Equilux, equal day and equal night, was referred to by the ancients as the Equinox. In the 21st century, the word "Equinox" is used to describe the astronomical point at which the center of the Sun’s disk crosses an imaginary line in the sky called the celestial equator, the projection of the Earth’s equator.)
The next rising moon, called “Hodesh”, meaning “new moon”, marked the beginning of God's New Year. Every month started with the rising of the new moon, marked as the first day of the month, and lasted until the next new moon, 29-30 days. It was a simple and effective way to mark time as God ordained it. The years did not have a continuous cycle of weeks but instead the cycle started over with each new moon. New Moon day was a worship day followed by six working days, with the seventh-day Sabbath on the eighth of the month, then on the fifteenth, and in succession of 7 days, as first recorded in Exodus 16. (Exodus 16:1, 23. Numbers 28:11-15; Psalm 81:3-5; Isaiah 66:23)
It was a simple and effective way to keep up with time as God ordained it. Of course, it required diligence and patience to observe the heavens often during each month. That explains the fact that from 70-1178 AD, the observation-based calendar given by God, was gradually replaced by the mathematically calculated one that did not vary according to the heavens, still used today by the Jewish nation today. So, on our Gregorian calendar, God’s appointed Days may vary by date depending on which method is used. Also, the way most calculate the Sabbath is based on the man’s appointed calendar, counting by 7’s. By doing so, years are marked ahead of time, instead of waiting and watching for God’s perfect timing through the heavenly appointment of the sun and moon.
While all this might seem a bit disconcerting to many Christians, God designed it all toward one end: knowing Him as God and depending on His appointed revelation for wisdom. Let’s face it. The ancients had one thing going in their favor which enabled them to easily understand the spiritual lessons in God’s creation: TIME. Nowadays, we want to fit the wisdom of God’s Word quickly and succinctly into our jam-packed schedules. Back then, plenty of folks lived almost a 1000 years, and without electricity, had eons of time to sit, night after night, month after month, year after year, century after century, and observe the constellations as they progressed across the sky, the sun as it rose and set, the moon as it appeared in its four quarters and the seasons connected to the procession of the Equilux. And remember, they had not-too-distant ancestors who had come to know God in the Garden of Eden, and passed their exeriences down to their children. Though these folks didn’t have God's written word to guide them, they understood and depended on Him as Creator, and eagerly received and celebrated His Word expressed to them in the vast expanse of the world He had created.
The Jewish philosopher Philo, who lived at the time of Jesus, also understood the importance of the language of the heavens. “Moses puts down the beginning of the vernal equinox as the first month of the year, attributing the chief honour, not as some persons do to the periodical revolutions of the year in regard of time, but rather to the graces and beauties of nature which it has caused to shine upon men . . . Accordingly, in this month, about the fourteenth day of the month, when the orb of the moon is usually about to become full, the public universal feast of the Passover is celebrated . . ." (Philo, On The Life Of Moses II, Section XLI (41) (222-224).
Eusebius, a Greek historian of the 3rd century AD also wrote, "… it was also known to the Jews anciently, and before [Messiah], and was chiefly observed by them, as we may learn from Philo, Josephus, and Musaeus; and not only from these, but also from those still more ancient, i. e. the two Agathobuli, commonly called the master, and of Aristobulus, that most distinguished scholar, who was one of the seventy that translated the holy scriptures from the Hebrew. These. . . say that all ought to sacrifice the Passover alike after the vernal equinox, in the middle of the first month." Ecclesiastical History Popular Edition. p. 313
So now we should be able to understand more fully, why this physical time of the year is so important. The first month of God’s New Year heralds the coming anniversary of the Death, Burial and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, the one identified in John 1: 1-3 as Creator alongside Almighty God! “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made…” john 1:1-3
“He who made the Pleiades and Orion, and turns deep darkness into the morning and darkens the day into night, who calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out on the surface of the earth, the Lord is his name.” Amos 5:8.
“Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name, by the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power not one is missing.” Isaiah 40:26
“Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades or loose the cords of Orion? Can you lead forth the Mazzaroth in their season, or can you guide the Bear with its children?” Job 38:31-32
Yes, our Creator formed the constellations, as well as the stars, and appointed them as “signs” and clearly specified the order of the constellations and their grouping, called the Mazzaroth, which we know today as the Zodiac. (Genesis 1:14; Job 9:8-9; Job 26:13; Job 38:31-33; Amos 5:8).
As we read the word of the Lord to Babylon, who had perverted his appointments in the heavens by using them to their own gain, we see the same mindset still in place today. “Keep on, then, with your magic spells and with your many sorceries, which you have labored at since childhood. Perhaps you will succeed, perhaps you will cause terror. All the counsel you have received has only worn you out! Let your astrologers come forward, those stargazers who make predictions month by month, let them save you from what is coming upon you. Surely they are like stubble; the fire will burn them up.” Isaiah 47:12-14.
In the New Testament, we clearly see that God reveals Himself through creation to give us the chance to come to know Him. "For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse." Romans 1:20
We also need to be reminded that God marked important earthly events with celestial signs in the heavens. Joshua 10:13 records that the sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day so that the Israelites could defeat their enemies. The heavens signaled the birth of Jesus, leading the wise men straight to Him. When Jesus died, the daylight sky turned dark. Isaiah said in 13:10 that in the coming day of the Lord, “The stars of heaven and their constellation will not show their light. The rising sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light.”
We close our lesson today with the words of Jesus, as He repeats the above Old Testament prophecy again in Matthew 24:29, and identifies Himself as its coming fulfillment in the next verse: “Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.”
"LIKE A BRIDEGROOM COMING OUT OF HIS CHAMBER..."